October 17, 2012 / 4:43 PM / 6 years ago

EU settles on threesome to collect Nobel peace prize

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Almost a week after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the European Union has finally decided who will collect the award.

Rather than one person making the trip to Norway on December 10, the EU has decided it will send three people — one to represent each of its main institutions: the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament.

As a result, Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Parliament President Martin Schulz will all fly to Oslo for the ceremony, EU officials said on Wednesday.

However, it remains unclear who will deliver the speech accepting the award, which normally involves just one speaker. And it is also unclear what will happen to the $1.2 million prize money, although it is expected to go to charity.

The Nobel Committee announced the EU had won the award last Friday, saying the 55-year-old organization had helped transform Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace” in the decades since World War Two.

Critics of the EU, which has struggled for three years to get to grips with its debt crisis, will see the fact that three people are accepting the award as a reflection of how the union struggles to take decisions and always ends up compromising.

The last time the award went to an organization was in 1999, when emergency aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers won.

Usually when an organization is recognized, an individual is also named.

That was the case in 2005 when the award went to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its then director general Mohamed ElBaradei — making it easier to know who to send to collect the prize.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Luke Baker

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